While vacationing at the beach, I have noticed a few phenomenons which I think are universal to the human race.
I’m at the beach with the 7-year-old hurricane boy, 8-year-old princess girl, my wife, both sets of grandparents and my sister from San Francisco. Just in case this collection of family fun were not quite enough, my in-laws brought a 12-year-old sheltie dog who has become a little addled in the brain, such that he wanders off with other vacationers.
Combine this with the fact the 7-year-old hurricane tends to do much the same, and I’m pretty sure we’re only about 24 hours from ending up on an episode of “America’s Most Wanted.” Either the dog and boy will end up missing or the poor family that finds them will end up missing.
Tropical Storm Debby has engulfed us, meaning we’re trapped in a small room with this entourage. After about eight hours of this, I’d trade places with some guy on death row. At least they have a little peace and quiet occasionally.
But, back to phenomenons.
We’re on the beach with 80,000 other folks, wet, exhausted, sunburned and we call this relaxing. A tiny rain begins, just a few drops here and there. You would think Godzilla had just arisen from the edge of the surf. A literal stampede of people scurry back to their rooms, lest anyone get wet. God forbid the beach towel, which by now has 27 pounds of sand on it, gets wet.
More baffling, however, is the “let’s follow the person who knows the most about the area” to the new place to eat phenomenon.
One person on every trip will know more about the area than anyone else. They will lead the way to the restaurant and say, “Don’t worry about the address, just follow me.”
I think Gen. Custer said the same thing at Little Bighorn.
The following then always happens: “Know the most person” will gun the car through the first yellow traffic light, stranding everyone else.
If this first evasive maneuver fails, he’ll try speeding 25 mph over the limit, forcing the following person to risk life, limb and freedom. Before long, the trip will look like a scene from “The French Connection” and chances are you’ll end up parked on the side of the road, calling “Know the Most,” who won’t have the cell phone on.
Oh well, I’ve got to go look for the dog, and the hurricane. Just follow me, you don’t need directions.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.